How to keep your bike feeling new all year round.
Every year or 6,000 miles (depending on what comes first), it is worth dissembling your bike and giving it a good annual overhaul to ensure that it continues to feel like new. Throughout the year, your bike is going to be ridden in different weather conditions, over different terrain and in different seasons. Combined, these variables can wear out the parts on your bike such as bearings which can impact how your bike performs and not in a good way.
Bearings, gear cables, brake pads, brake fluids and chain wear are only a few components which might start to wear and become in need of repair or replacement. In this blog, we shall go through the necessary equipment and steps to complete some maintenance at home as well as our in store servicing options.
For bikes such as Mountain bikes and gravel bikes, these should be overhauled more often due to stress that the componentry will endure. If your bike starts to make a strange noise or feel different in how it performs then it is an obvious sign to give your bike a service.
- - A cloth or dirty rag
- - Bike specific grease and Carbon Gripper paste
- - Degreaser
- - A set of tools including Allen Keys etc
- - A bike repair stand
If you struggle to have the time, space or knowledge to perform an annual bike service then there is no need to worry! At every Rutland Cycling store, we have highly skilled and qualified bike mechanics on hand, to service your bike efficiently whilst replacing any parts that need replacing.
The process is simple, we strip your bike of its drivetrain components, clean them, lubricate and set them up again. We remove your braking systems, clean and lubricate them before setting them back up and verifying that they are working efficiently. We will check your wheel alignment to make sure they are running true as well as checking all your bearings in case they need replacing.Click here for information on our Workshop & Services!
Bike servicing at home
Learning to service your bike at home can come in very useful when it comes to saving money and time. With a few simple tools and products you will find that servicing your bike is quite an easy process once you follow a few methodical steps that mean that no part of your bike is overlooked.
- Step 1. Clean your bike and pop it into a bike repair stand to make sure you can easily work around the frame. Take off both the front and rear wheels and put them to the side for a minute so you are just left with your frame and attached components.
- Step 2. Start by removing parts of the drivetrain - such as the chain, cassette and chainrings and degrease them using a bike degreasing solution. Degreasing your components will remove all of the built up dirt and oil and take the components back to their original colour. At this point, it will be worth checking if you need a new chain and you can check this by seeing how worn it is with a chain wear measurer.
- Step 3. Without the chain on, spin your cranks to check how your bottom bracket bearings are feeling - they should spin freely without resistance or noise. If you do encounter any noise then it is worth replacing the whole BB. When removing and installing a bottom bracket you need to be careful to not crush the bearings or cross thread the fitting.
- �If it's not broken, don't try to fix it� is often the best term to describe your BB.
- Step 4. The next part to check is quite a simple one - your seat and seatpost. Greasing the outside of your seatpost may seem like a strange idea but it is the main contact point of 2 different surfaces. Loosen the seat clamp, pull the seat post and clean it with your rag. Once your seatpost is clean, clean the inside of your frame where the clamp sits to remove any built up silt. If you have a carbon seatpost or carbon frame then make sure to use carbon gripper paste instead of grease but if you have an aluminium post then use grease as usual.
- If you own a dropper post, it might be a good time to lubricate the stanchion and potentially replace the cable if it has had a lot of use over the season.
- Step 5. Checking your braking systems performance is vital when it comes to safety. The key areas to check are your brake pads as these can often be overlooked in pre-ride safety checks. If your brake pads have 1mm or less of material then it is crucial that you replace them. You can generally tell when they need replacing as you often have to pull further on the lever than usual.
- It is also good to bleed your braking system every year just to make sure that they are as efficient as they can be. If you don't own a hydraulic system then it is a good time to check the alignment of your rim brakes by adjusting the barrel adjusters.
- Step 6. The next step is to check your headset bearings. When you turn your bars, your headset should feel smooth as well as turning with ease - if this isn't the case then it is worth investigating. To gain access to your headset, simply undo the pinch bolts on the side of your stem and then remove the top cap bolt. Make sure you're holding onto your forks as they could fall once the top cap has been removed. When all the bolts are undone, remove your stem and handlebars, spacers and fork and you should be left with a set of bearings on the top and bottom of your frame.
- If your bearings still look and feel in a good condition then it might be worth giving them a quick clean with a rag before applying some more grease into them. However, if your bearings are starting to fall apart then it is worth investing in a new set - this is guaranteed to make your bike feel brand new again!
- Step 7. As one of our last stages, it is time to put your drivetrain back together as well as refitting your wheels. If you have decided to change your inner gear cables then you will definitely need to readjust your gears using a phillips screwdriver on the limiter screws as well as tightening the cable tension. Once your bike is back together, it is well worth completing a 10 step check/ 'M' check/ Safety check just to ensure that it will be safe when you next go to ride it!